NM's Medical Pot Program Has Slow, Cautious Start
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NM's Medical Pot Program Has Slow, Cautious Start
Posted by CN Staff on November 16, 2009 at 06:17:00 PT
By Deborah Baker, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Santa Fe, N.M. -- Businessman Len Goodman owns a company that makes hand-painted art tiles, but these days his office desk is strewn with the raw materials of a new enterprise: fat, sweetly pungent marijuana buds. Newly licensed by the state to produce and distribute medical marijuana, Goodman must decide which strains he will grow in a steel-doored industrial building somewhere in Santa Fe County that will soon be converted into a high-tech indoor greenhouse.
"Every one is different," Goodman said of the brownish buds in plastic bags. "It's like wine." While California confronts a proliferation of pot shops and Colorado wrestles with regulations, New Mexico is slowly and quietly breathing life into a 2007 law that allows patients with certain medical conditions to get relief from marijuana. The first state to license producers, New Mexico gave the OK to one nonprofit in March and four others last week. Patients with a qualifying condition—there are 15—must get recommendations from medical providers, apply to the Department of Health, then, if they are approved, reapply each year. There were 755 approved patients as of last week, according to the state agency. "This is medical marijuana," said Goodman, who submitted 100 pages of plans to the department to get licensed. "This is not de facto legalization." The licensing of four new nonprofits is welcome news to patients. The first provider ran out of marijuana shortly after it began distribution in July, and wasn't expected to have more for months. With each producer limited to 95 plants, there was no way for one nonprofit to keep up with the growing demand as more patients were certified. The medical cannabis program, as the department refers to it, "will continue to proceed carefully ... so we can meet the needs of our patients while not creating an excess supply," Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil said when he announced the latest licensing. The department doesn't disclose the names of patients or producers, saying it wants to ensure their safety. Goodman, who came forward on his own, isn't critical of the department's policy but says he thinks patients and producers should be forthright. "I think the faster we move away from a paranoid drug dealer model to a normal business model, the better it's going to be," he said. "It's like coming out of the closet. If people are not out of the closet, nothing changes." Goodman arrived in New Mexico in the late 1960s and lived briefly at the famed New Buffalo community in Taos, inspiration for the commune scene in the film "Easy Rider." He started Arius Tile in 1972. He is also a registered medical marijuana patient, who says he smokes occasionally for post traumatic stress disorder stemming from a fatal automobile accident in 1992. He said marijuana helped him shake his longtime reliance on prescription anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs and "became a medicine for me." He sees providing medical marijuana as a public service. His nonprofit, NewMexiCann, plans to do patient outreach and advocacy. "Whether they buy from us it doesn't matter. We believe in medical marijuana," he said. He hopes to be able to begin distribution as early as February. He'll make deliveries to patients, rather than have a dispensary. The health department estimates each producer should be able to supply about 100 people. Of the 755 approved patients, more than 200 have been authorized to grow their own marijuana. Reena Szczepanski, director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, who lobbied for the law, said the state-licensed production provision grew out of concerns of patients who didn't want to get the state's OK to use the drug then be forced to buy it illegally. It became a model for other states, she said. Maine voters recently approved state-licensed dispensaries, and Rhode Island allows three nonprofit pot shops. Szczepanski said it remains to be seen whether New Mexico's supply and distribution system will be adequate and workable. "But the whole point of having a regulated system is we can find out these things," she said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Deborah Baker, Associated Press Writer  Published: November 16, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 22, 2009 at 08:12:54 PT
Hundreds of New Mexicans OK'd as Medical Pot Users
November 22, 2009URL:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 16, 2009 at 10:41:07 PT
Wisconsin Democrats Support Medical Marijuana
November 16, 2009Madison, Wis. -- Supporters of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes say the time is right to change the law in Wisconsin.Two Democratic state lawmakers announced on Monday that a bill they are co-sponsoring to legalize medical marijuana will be the subject of a public hearing on Dec. 15. Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Waunakee says he thinks there is enough support to get it passed.He and Assembly co-sponsor Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison were joined by advocacy groups and patients who say using marijuana can help those ill with cancer regain their appetite and deal with pain from their diseases and treatments.Thirteen states have legalized medical marijuana and Gov. Jim Doyle last month said he would support it if users have a doctor's prescription.Copyright: 2009 Associated PressURL:,0,5709926.story
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 16, 2009 at 10:36:17 PT
Had Enough
Can I ask if you live in Florida? If you do I wish you could meet my nephew sometime if you live in the Tampa Bay area.
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on November 16, 2009 at 10:30:18 PT
PUFMM Advertisement...Full Throttle Magazine
People United For Medical Marijuana (PUFMM)Please disregard the cartoon on the right side of the page...I don’t see much humor in it...I wish the PUFMM ad were located somewhere else in the magazine, as I think the page to the right detracts from the message...But...some advertisement is still better than none...In the magazine the ad is on page 90...the online publication has it on page 92...Ad found here... Throttle Magazine found here...************Hey Florida...Don’t wait for the legislature...put it on the ballot yourselves...***PUFMM Cartoon...Click to see
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on November 16, 2009 at 08:21:02 PT
This smells like stupid!
The clinics are reporting an avalanche supply of herb this year.People want it!Through the street dealers.........or through regulated, taxed clinics?As usual the supply of herbs and idiot politicians remain about the same!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 16, 2009 at 07:47:52 PT
Video: Future of L.A. Pot Clinics Up for Debate
November 16, 2009URL:
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